As the 2022 season rapidly approaches, the Blue Zone takes a look at each of the eight major position groups on this Duke roster: Specialists, defensive line, offensive line, linebackers, defensive backs, receivers, running backs and quarterbacks.
Key players lost: Jack Wohlabaugh
Duke retains a lot of experience along the offensive line, but losing center Jack Wohlabaugh—a former captain and two-time honorable mention All-ACC selection—will force this unit to change and grow in 2022. After transferring from Ohio State following the 2017 season, Wohlabaugh put together an excellent run with the Blue Devils hampered only by a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2020 campaign. To successfully move on from such a model of consistency along the offensive line is a tall task, but one that Duke and offensive line coach Adam Cushing have the skill and experience to overcome.
Projected starters: Graham Barton, Maurice McIntyre, Jacob Monk, Chance Lytle, Andre Harris
While Monday’s depth chart release takes some of the fun out of this projection, there’s still a bit of mystery as to what Duke’s offensive line will look like on a regular basis. The team’s depth chart lists seven players across five positions, leaving room for interpretation.
Unsurprisingly, the left side of the line is set in stone. Junior Graham Barton, who has been a Saturday mainstay for the Blue Devils since midway through his freshman season, will reprise his role at left tackle after starting all 12 games a season ago. At left guard, redshirt senior Maurice McIntyre returns on the heels of his first season as a full-time starter in 2021.
Things get interesting at center, where senior captain Jacob Monk will take over for Wohlabaugh after switching from his usual position at right guard. It bodes well that Monk has been every bit as consistent as his predecessor to this point in his Duke career; the fourth-year man is yet to forgo a start since arriving in Durham in 2019.
On the right side of the line, Duke’s depth chart lists graduate students Chance Lytle and Brian Foley at guard along with graduate student Andre Harris and redshirt junior John Gelotte at tackle. The Blue Devils have plenty of experience to lean upon here, even if all but Gelotte have seen little to no time on the field for Duke. Lytle—a Colorado transfer and Duke’s breakout star of the offseason after a viral display of talent during fall camp—has the edge on Foley to this point, and the right tackle position appears to be a neck-and-neck battle. Harris appears likely to start Duke's opener Friday against Temple, but Gelotte will certainly see time this fall as well.
Dark horse: John Gelotte
It’s hard to categorize Gelotte, a player who made nine starts in 2021, as a true dark horse, but with the majority of Duke’s offensive line nearing graduation, there is reason to believe that the Blue Devils find time for their right tackle of the future regardless of who the coaching staff favors between him and Harris. Like Barton and McIntyre, Gelotte will get to return to his position from a season ago, giving him a chance for some continuity and growth in a new-look unit.
For the rest of our Duke football preseason coverage, click here.
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Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.